Atlantic virtually dormant while east Pac keeps churning them out

Wow, things could not be much more quiet than they are now across the Atlantic Basin. I see no areas of significant convection that show any signs of development over the next few days. This certainly spells great news for coastal locations all over the Atlantic, Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Now keep in mind that climatology suggests that it is towards the end of August and obviously through September that the tropics normally ramp up. We’ll see just how close to climatology we are as we move through the next few weeks. For now, enjoy the quiet.

In the east Pacific, the storms just keep coming off what seems like an assembly line. Right now, there is TS Hector which poses no threat to land and a new area of slowly organizing convection near the coast of Mexico that is destined to develop. This system (actually labeled as 95E) could run parallel to the Mexican coastline in the days ahead, bringing heavy rains and squally conditions to the region. We’ll have to watch it closely this week since it is already impacting land and could continue to do so. I’ll have more here tomorrow, including a look at the growing El Nino, SST anomalies and what the long range models are showing as we move in to the traditional heart of the hurricane season. I’ll also have an update on our iPhone app which has an update due out soon that will add new tracking maps and add some ease-of-use enhancements.

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TD7 not much of a threat while Ernesto will live on…in the east Pacific

Conditions across the tropical Atlantic are just not very favorable right now. There is simply too much mid-level dry air and pockets of unfavorable upper level winds are widespread. For these reasons, it looks as though, once again, the global models will be correct in forecasting what will likely turn out to be a very weak system in TD7.

Looking at the latest satellite photos, there is very little convection and the envelope of energy with the depression is fairly small. As the NHC noted on their early morning discussion, this makes it vulnerable to effects such as dry air and shear more so than a larger, more potent circulation would. I do not see TD7 being much of a problem for anyone unless of course there is a sudden and unexpected change in the environmental conditions ahead of it. I doubt it.

Meanwhile, something remarkable is going to happen. Think about this…the tropical wave that became hurricane Ernesto has traveled from Africa, all the way across the tropical Atlantic, through the gauntlet of the eastern Caribbean Sea, made landfall twice in Mexico and is now poised to emerge in the east Pacific where it can live another day. That’s right, Ernesto, or at least a bulk of its energy, is about to finish quite an incredible trek across the mountainous terrain of Mexico to cross in to the east Pacific. Now, it will not be named Ernesto if it does in fact regenerate, which is very likely to happen. Instead, it will take on the next name of the east Pacific, Hector. It is quite rare to have a tropical cyclone cross over land from one distinct basin to another. What’s even more interesting about this, there is a possibility that the regenerated system could eventually affect the Baja region. Who would have thought this to be the case a week ago or more when we were tracking something that, at one point, could have ended up making landfall anywhere from Florida to Texas. Now, it’s eventual final landfall could easily be along the Pacific coast of Mexico. Needless to say, folks in that region need to monitor what happens and I’ll post updates about it here along with video blogs in our HurricaneTrack app throughout the upcoming weekend.

The remainder of the Atlantic is somewhat busy with invest area 93L off the coast of Africa. Here again we see that conditions are only marginal for development and the global models show next to nothing over the next week to 10 days anywhere in the Atlantic, Caribbean or Gulf. I am not sure if it’s climatology (i.e. we are simply still just a little too early in the season to see prolific, sustained development) or if something else is going on related to the growing El Nino in the Pacific. I’ll take a closer look in today’s video blog to be posted in our app this afternoon. What ever the reason, it’s great news for coastal dwellers who will not have to deal with any hurricanes this weekend for sure and probably all of next week as well.

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Some thoughts on TD7

Wide Atlantic Tracking map showing TD 7

Wide Atlantic Tracking map showing TD 7

We now have TD7 in the tropical Atlantic and it is forecast to become a tropical storm as it passes through the Lesser Antilles and in to the Caribbean Sea. The path looks very similar to Ernesto’s though TD7 has formed quite a bit farther to the east than Ernesto.

It is interesting that once again, the global models, namely the GFS and ECMWF, do very little with the depression while the less “sophisticated” statistical intensity models make it a moderate to strong tropical storm. As I mentioned in this mornings video blog for our app, there seems to be a lack of vertical instability across the Atlantic Basin again this season and this is perhaps putting a literal lid on things. We saw this time after time last season and ended up with a lot of named storms but not many intense ones overall.

Never the less, we’ll be tracking yet another tropical cyclone in to the eastern Caribbean over the next few days and since it is on the maps, we need to take it seriously- just in case the global models have missed some piece of info that would otherwise make TD7 something more than they depict it.

Note that the fast motion of the depression is also something that needs to be considered. When they move fast, like we saw with Ernesto, they tend to outrun their own deep convection and lose organization. It will be another interesting duel between the dynamic models and the statistical models as we track TD 7 steadily westward. I’ll have more tomorrow morning.

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New update to HurricaneTrack for iPhone coming soon

Atlantic Wide Map to be added to HurricaneTrack

Atlantic Wide Map to be added to HurricaneTrack

I wanted to let you all know that we are pushing an update to HurricaneTrack that will include our very own tracking maps as well as a few other enhancements that will make the app more functional and easier to use.

The tracking maps will be a great addition to the app. In fact, we are adding five total maps in this update: wide Atlantic, western Atlantic, and three TCHP (tropical cyclone heat potential) maps.

All of the maps are generated by our servers and will be updated within minutes of each advisory package, including intermediate advisories.

One of three TCHP Track Maps coming to HurricaneTrack

One of three TCHP Track Maps coming to HurricaneTrack

The TCHP maps are exclusive to HurricaneTrack and will plot tropical cyclone tracks over tropical cyclone heat potential background maps. This will give the user a look at not only past, current and forecast positions, but also WHERE the track forecast shows the track over NOAA’s heat potential maps. As you may know, oceanic heat content is a big driver in hurricane intensity and giving our app users a constantly updating look at the track over the TCHP map will prove to be a useful tool, especially when combined with the daily Hurricane Outlook and Discussion videos.

We are also implementing an auto-refresh feature for the video blogs and some improvements to the Twitter feed that I think users will really appreciate.

Looking ahead, we have some major upgrades planned for the future and are limited only by funding resources. So, the more apps we sell now, the better we can make it for everyone later. Get the word out, share the link to the App Store on your social media feeds and please, above all else, leave a review. We’ll take everything in to consideration, the great and the not-so-great reviews, it all matters. This app is for YOU and we are working on making it live up to its full potential and your feedback is part of that.

Of course, I still believe that, for now, the real power of the app will be during landfalls as we will be able to post video blogs, photos and live weather data right from where the tropical storm or hurricane is making landfall. No other app will get you in to the middle of the storm like HurricaneTrack. After all, it’s what we’ve done on the site since day one in 1999.

And for those who are wondering about the Android version….we’re working on it. Once this update for iPhone is complete, we can finish up work on the Android version and set a release date.

 

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Depression survived the night, heading towards Lesser Antilles

TD5

TD5

TD 5 almost fizzled out last night as environmental conditions are only marginal enough to keep it on life support. A combination of rather dry mid level air and some shearing wind from an upper level low (a large one at that) to the north took a toll on the fledgling cyclone.

This morning, however, the deep convection is making a comeback and a large curved band is seen on the southeast side of the depression. This will give it at least a chance to become a tropical storm before it moves through the Lesser Antilles and in to the Caribbean Sea.

Interestingly enough, the fairly reliable SHIPS model for intensity shows only slight strengthening in the short term followed by a modest increase to 75 knots by day five. This would make the system a hurricane over the very warm waters of the central Caribbean Sea. For now, it remains weak and disorganized but could become a tropical storm and bring squally weather to portions of the Lesser Antilles. I see no evidence that this will become a hurricane before passing through the islands.

In the longer term track-wise, there is not much change to the five day forecast from the NHC. A strong area of high pressure to the north (Bermuda High) will push the system generally westward with a gradual bend to the WNW with time. Obviously, people want to know if it will affect the U.S. coast. My answer is: too early to know. First we have to deal with the effects to Jamaica, the Caymans and possibly the Yucatan, all of which are potentially in the path of the soon-to-be storm. Any impact to the U.S. will be more than a week away.

In other news, we released our iPhone App yesterday and hope that you will pick it up in the App Store. For more information and to purchase your copy of HurricaneTrack, click the link in the main menu above.

We also have our JavaTrack Hurricane Tracking Maps back up and running with a new and improved look. Plus, we have added the error cone to the track. Check it out also via the link in the main menu bar at top. For additional maps, including our exclusive offering of Stormpulse maps, check out our subscription Client Services site.

The rest of the tropics are quiet and look to remain that way for the next several days. I’ll have another update here this evening with periodic posts to Twitter throughout the day.

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